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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : latest news : local August 28, 2014


11/5/2013 7:50:00 AM
CRNA contracted at hospital has a criminal record
Palo Verde Hospital
Palo Verde Hospital
Jaclyn Randall
Associate Editor

BLYTHE - Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Cheema Kanwaljit, already under investigation from an Oct. 1 traffic accident and an Oct. 9 suspicion of drunk driving charge, is the target of a state attorney general's effort to take action against her license and CRNA certification filed this past March 27.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris' office accusations filed with the California Board of Registered Nursing stem from a 2005 petty theft conviction and her admission to forging prescriptions and failing to document the waste of drugs for three patients at Mee Memorial Hospital where she worked in 2010.

The accusation before the Board of Registered Nursing Department of Consumer Affairs Executive Officer Louise R. Bailey, M.Ed., RN, contends that a court convicted Kanwaljit of petty theft, a misdemeanor, on Sept 26, 2005, after authorities originally charged her with grand theft on April 11, 2005.

In the April 2005 incident, a Macy's loss prevention agent saw Kanwaljit put items in a bag and leave the store without paying. After the agent stopped her and called Brea, Calif., police, she admitted to taking the items as gifts for her father who was arriving from India the next month. The officer searched her bag and found men's clothing items plus a pair of women's shoes and two Estee Lauder skin products. Kanwaljit added she wanted to get some things for her mother, too.

Kanwaljit received three years of informal probation and an order to complete 14 days of community service after she pleaded guilty to a petty theft misdemeanor.

In 2010, Kanwaljit was working in King City, Calif. as a CRNA at Mee Memorial Hospital. The hospital alleged that Kanwaljit committed fraud after a King City Rite Aid pharmacist called the hospital questioning what he believed were fraudulent prescriptions.

The pharmacist called Mee Memorial Hospital saying he received a prescription for hydrocodone/APAP and Robitussin AC on a pre-printed hospital pad. The doctor whose signature was on the prescription denied he wrote the prescription as did a pediatrician whose name was on a second prescription for hydrocodone/APAP. The Mee Memorial Hospital board spoke with Kanwaljit who admitted to writing the prescriptions but said she did it to give the controlled substances to a friend who did not have health insurance.

The Monterey County District Attorney's office filed charges of diverting narcotics in December of 2012 in Monterey County. She pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of prescription forgery in July 2013. She received three years probation, a $140 fine, and had to do 40 hours of community service she completed at an unknown nursing home care center in southern California.

The accusation cites a third cause for discipline relating to "falsified, or grossly incorrect, grossly inconsistent, or unintelligible entries in hospital records" involving hydrocodone, Robitussin, fentanyl, and morphine.

Bailey included fentanyl and morphine in the accusation after Kanwaljit admitted that she "neglected to document the administration or waste" of 9.8 mg of morphine for one patient, 100 mcg of fentanyl of a second patient, and 9.75 mg of morphine for a third patient. All patients were at Mee Memorial Hospital.

The attorney general's complaint asks the board to discipline Kanwaljit by suspension, probation, or revoking Kanwaljit's registered nurse license and her CRNA credentials. It also asks the board to order Kanwaljit to pay the costs of bringing the action and to take "such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper."

The Board of Registered Nursing has yet to set a hearing.

Kanwaljit originally received credentials (privileges) at Palo Verde Hospital in 2010. The hospital board voted unanimously to renew her privileges in 2012 and gave her a contract with Palo Verde Hospital in May 2013 by a 4-1 vote (Cat McLain opposed). The CRNA had an unblemished record, according to the Board of Registered Nursing, until March of this year when the accusation became public and after Monterey County opened its criminal case.

Palo Verde Hospital CEO Sandra Anaya said, "The Board of Registered Nursing is currently addressing the situation in question with the CRNA and has not placed any restrictions or limitations on her license. At this time, we respect the CRNA's privacy."

Kanwaljit remains on active staff until the end of her contract or until the state board takes action.

Anaya did confirm that hospital officials have taken steps to have another CRNA on staff as of Nov. 4.

"Although we are bound by the standards that govern confidentiality for any individual practitioner who works within the healthcare environment, hospital administration, in cooperation with medical staff leaders, have also taken steps to appoint a physician director of anesthesia services," said Anaya.

Anaya also said that the physician will work with other medical staff leaders and handle the oversight and supervision of all activities of the anesthesia services.

"The hospital takes seriously our accountability and responsibility for the safe and effective provision of care," said Anaya. "We continue to carry out our policies and procedures related to internal quality control mechanisms."

Kanwaljit currently is under investigation by Blythe Police Department for an Oct. 1 car accident and an Oct. 9 suspicion of drunk driving charge after witnesses spotted her on Lovekin Boulevard trying to get on Interstate 10 the wrong way and cutting off another vehicle.

During the Oct.1 accident, she told police she was driving home from work at the hospital in a BMW sport utility vehicle and swerved to avoid an oncoming car in the 300 block of North First Street and hit a parked Nissan Maxima.

The Medical Executive Committee (MEC) at Palo Verde Hospital is in charge of the CRNAs and presents CRNAs and other medical staff to the Palo Verde Healthcare District Board of Directors for approval.

Click here to see the accusation filed by the California Attorney General's Office (PDF)



Related Stories:
• Hospital board terminates CRNA Kanwaljit's contract
• Blythe Police arrest hospital anesthesiologist Wednesday
• Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei arrested (UPDATED)


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

The whole story was on facebook, this woman isn't (deleted). IMO If she is then it will be handled in a court of law. You all act like the stuff you are saying will make some difference somewhere. lol
This town is so far beyond corrupt it's starting to be funny. Remember that song Who's cheatin who?

Hats off to PVVT, I get irritated sometimes when you guys delete stuff but you know better than me or any of the ones you have censored, so far be it for me to complain but Thanks for the reporting, without it we would really be in the dark.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: Liz Ronald

(deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: just me

I just learned she is no longer at the hospital....The new anesthetist that took her spot has some age on her,....I personally don't feel patients are any more safe with him being there....It sounds as tho the hospital had to hit the retired doctors barrel to bring this new one in....She had to go but the one with more severe charges still strutting his stuff calling all the shots,,,, still in full control....Come on Anya and Sam Sandy Trina be fair and put the doctor in check....If you know what fair means....

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Article comment by: jenny jamama

(deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@...Chris tyrpan. DA said " Hats off to her for helping a dying patient" I bet, that Doctor Kevorkian would have been happy to hear those words.

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Article comment by: Chris tyrpan

To High School Grad
why are you going so far with her stealing drugs? Seem like that is you would do. I guess with high school diploma that's the only ting you can think of. Did someone talked to her? Or the DA, because DA said " Hats off to her for helping a dying patient"


Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013
Article comment by: @ Jan Sorensen

Jan I tried to give you honest information on the one in charge of background checks ....But PVVT felt it was to much info....No offense PVVT... Jan ask around town other people besides me know the history of that employee (deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013
Article comment by: @ Jan Sorensen

deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013
Article comment by: Jan Sorensen

Who is in charge of checking ones background/credentials? Any "pay-ola"involved here?


Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013
Article comment by: To @ EL PICA BUYAS

Very Good observation.....

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: @ EL PICA BUYAS

If you go to the article "Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei arrested," you'll see in the picture, in the garage, the back of a white Toyota Camry. That is the car.

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: @ river gal

Lets hope the case goes to Indio....The judge,..the D A and chief of police are all tight with the doctor, and CEO the three board members...So the D A could have the duiqu9ad3 thrown out of court....

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@....To El Picas Buyas. Aw I see said the blind man. Gotcha.

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: To El Picas Buyas

Rather then "Ask the Chief of Police!!!"
Better yet you might try asking the Chief of Staff at PVH!!


Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: Nothing Matters

Everyone is correct about falsifying an application for employment, but it doesn't matter. Dr. S did the hiring and if he was paying her, then there was some type of arrangement. No correct 'chain of commant', rules and regulations, past practices or following the law-just do whatever in your power.


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